Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Post: Simply Bike

hi everyone! first off i want to thank you all for the wonderful compliments on kiki! i haven't rode a new bike in sooo long and it is so nice! today i have a wonderful bike lady to share tips on finding the perfect bike for you. she is super awesome and such an inspiration to me. she is 36 weeks pregnant and still RIDING! can you saw amazing!!! well s. had a great blog, simply bike and if you want to feel inspired to ride then i suggest you head over to her blog! thanks s. for a wonderful post! can't wait to "meet" your new nugget soon!

Hi, I’m S. and I blog about cycling for fun and for every day commuting over at Simply Bike. Like most people, I learned to ride a bike as a child and spent many happy childhood days riding around my neighborhood with my friends. But then I stopped riding a bike and didn’t rediscover how much fun cycling can be until about three years ago.  I wish I had gotten back on a bike much sooner because it’s so much fun, it’s a great way to built exercise into my day, and it’s made me appreciate my surroundings and community so much more as I experience it in a much more up-close and interactive way.

So here are my five simple steps to getting back on a bike if you, like me, haven’t given that two-wheeled contraption any thought since your childhood days…

1. Find a bike that is a good fit for you. I wrote all about finding the right size bike for you on my blog and it’s something I think very important to helping you feel comfortable and at ease on a bike. When I first started riding on a regular basis, I loved my cruiser because it was like riding a huge tractor of a bike. I felt stable and impenetrable on it. Once I gained more confidence, I transitioned to speedier bikes with thinner tires and a more aggressive geometry. But it was important for me to first gain my bike-riding confidence on a bike that felt easy and comfortable to me.

2. Pick easy routes around your neighborhood or on bike trails.  When I first got back on a bike, I felt too intimidated to ride near cars, in busy areas, or in high-traffic situations. I loved hitting the bike trails on the weekends and I also enjoyed easy rides to a coffee shop near my house that only required riding through quiet neighborhood streets. Choosing these kinds of routes allowed me to slowly built my confidence and work my way up to feeling confident in tackling any kind of city riding scenario.

3. Find friends who like to ride enlist them to join you on a bike ride. There is nothing better than a social bike ride. Friends, bikes, fresh air… bliss! Added bonus: when you ride with more people, your visibility on the road increases and you can feel some of that ‘safety in numbers’ thing.  If you don’t have friends who want to ride, look up social rides in your city (online) or ask about easy ‘fun rides’ at your local bike shop.

4. Remember that cycling is not an exclusive club! You don’t need a special bike, lycra, or any kinds of special skills or tricks. Any bike that fits you and has good functioning brakes will do. Most of the clothes in your closet will do. A basic understanding of starting, stopping, shifting gears, and signaling your turns will do. Don’t be deterred by ‘hard-core’ cyclists who speed by you in their high-performance cycling gear and with their expensive high-end bikes. There are many different kinds of cyclists out there and you belong on the road just as much as the rider does.

5. Remember to smile! The thing about riding a bike is that it’s fun. Yes, it’s great for the environment and yes, it’s cheap and financially sound. Of course it’s great that you can get a work-out in when hopping on your bike and, sure, it’s great that you’re doing something that’s ecologically sensible. But none of those reasons would be enough to get so many people out there and riding if the most fundamental of reasons weren’t true as well: riding your bike is fun! Just like it was when you were a kid. So hop on that bike and remember to have a good time!


  1. i was definitely nervous to get back on a bike for the first time as an adult, but it's true that you never forget - and it's even more fun now! :D

  2. Such great tips! I'll definitely be referring back to this when I have some money to buy a bike!

  3. Great post! I love that turquoise bike! I think I may trade in my newer mountain bike for an older road bike...hmm. thanks for the tips! :) -Lo

  4. Thanks, CB, for having me post today! I'm thrilled to contribute on such a meaningful (to me) topic and I love your site and am honored to be featured on here :)

    @Little Lo Hood - the turquoise bike is a Electra Hawaii Cruiser, found on Craigslist.

    @Jordan - I got all of my bikes on Criagslist, you'd be surprised how many gorgeous bikes you can find on there. It might save you a bit to look there before hitting the newer models in a store.


  5. Definately agree that the right fitting bike is so important. I'd always struggled and not enjoyed riding when borrowing friends bikes in the past. When I got my petite bike I fell in love, so comfy & so much easier to ride too.

  6. cars definitely make me nervous when I ride...I tend to stick to quite streets so as not to have a nervous breakdown.

  7. I cant believe I still don't own a bike! this post makes me want to get one asap!

  8. I love these tips. I'm a huge fan of cycling. I hope to one day be able to cycle to work. I hope to cycle when I'm preggars too. How impressive.

  9. Awesome tips! I am just getting back into bike riding and these are great things to keep in mind.
    the oBITCHuaries

  10. fab post & tips, thank you :) xox

  11. I love this! I agree that biking doesn't need to be exclusive or fancy! My bike was secondhand on ebay, and I usually ride in whatever I'm wearing + a pair of old converse sneakers.

  12. Preach it, sister! I tend toward the "cycle chic" mentality, which is basically that cycling is about lifestyle, not sport. The mantra is to choose style over speed and comfort over speed. I would add fun over speed!


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